I'm a road tripper from way back. My family went on vacations and short little side trips all the time when I was growing up. That sort of thing just gets in your blood.

Today I'm on the road doing a live broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry Plaza in Nashville. Chad, Jaclyn, and I are getting everybody ready for the excitement of the CMA Music Festival which kicks off tomorrow.

Now, while this IS a road trip, it's not the extensive kind for which I prepare, ahem, extensively. I have certain items that are absolutely essential when traveling.

When I was young, my mom always made a bunch of fried apple pies before we left. We never left home without 'em. Today, it's a bit different. I like to make sure I have plenty of bottled water and a cooler big enough to carry plenty of rest stop lunch food, but small enough to fit in the back seat.

Fruit's a big deal, because you can snack on it then toss the leftovers out the window. Anything biodegradable or that an animal will come along and scoop up can't be considered litter, right?

Rest stop lunching is a great way to save money, because when you're traveling, eating out all the time can really cut into your budget. And there's something about eating at a picnic table with cars whizzing by that really generates that vacation vibe.

But that's not everything on the check list.

Gotta have music! Since I work in radio, I seldom listen to the radio when I'm on the road. Oh, I will for a little while just to see what everyone else is doing, but then, more often than not, I'll toss in a CD. You'd be surprised how much time flies by when your tunes are playin'.

And then, I have my laptop computer and my Rand McNally road atlas. Yes, when I have downtime on vacation, I actually plan my next vacation. Of course, it helps that I love reading road atlases. I always have.

My parents always said I started reading them when I was about 4 years old. I don't remember that, but I'll take their word for it, because I can't honestly remember a time when I didn't have an updated Rand McNally and my face wasn't buried in it.

So there you go. Road Trip 101 courtesy of Dave Spencer. By the way, as I said earlier, I didn't really need any of that stuff today.

Short trip. But a fun one!

Hope you can make it down to Nashville today for the Grand Ole Opry Plaza Party!